A plain man -- with a good natural understanding -- well read in the Bible, -- full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, -- though he comes from the forge or the shop, would, I own, in my view, as a missionary to the heathen, be infinitely preferable to all the learning of the schools; and would possess, in the skill and labour of his hands, advantages which barren science would never compensate.
After many years of sitting under the ministry of quite few excellent, some not so excellent, preacher/pastors, and having been called to our first country pastorate, I had been impressed with similar thoughts as those expressed by Thomas Haweis.
I have a very clear memory of the first day I sat at the desk in my first office, surrounded by the library of good books I had collected over the years, all by great men of God. I felt a surge of pride, and immediately was ashamed, as I remembered my previously mentioned thoughts.
As I sat there I was compelled to pray that my loving Father would keep me an ordinary man,able to be in touch with the lives of those to whom I would minister.
A few years later, after the Lord of the Church had blessed our evangelistic efforts I was asked to speak at an evangelism conference regarding rural evangelism. I mentioned that one thing I had learned was that it was important for those who wish to minister to others to learn to "sit in the dust" if necessary, "get some dirt under one's finger nails", if we were to fully relate to those we sought to influence for Christ.
There were some fellows there, both young and older, who thought my comments were ridiculous.
Over the years we continued to be blessed. I can only assume that the Lord didn't consider my words ridiculous.
Whether I'm still an ordinary bloke, that's for others to judge,but I have no desire for anything else.
Haweis was right. Thank you Dave for reminding me!